The top brass of the scam-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) were questioned at the bank’s head office by Income Tax sleuths pursuing the ₹11,400-crore Nirav Modi scam.
Senior income tax officials quizzed PNB’s Managing Director Sunil Mehta and the Executive Directors at the bank’s swank new head office at Dwarka on Tuesday, sources close to the developments said.
As many as seven law enforcement agencies are now pursuing various leads in the ‘Letter of Undertaking’ scam involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, among other relatives.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Rajesh Jindal, a General Manager rank officer currently posted at the PNB Head Office in the capital.
Jindal was the head of the Brady House branch (during 2009-11), which is at the centre of the scam for fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking between 2011 and 2017.
PIL for court monitoring
The Supreme Court on Wednesday set March 16 as the next date of hearing in the public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a court-monitored probe into the role of PNB’s top management and also seeking the deportation of Nirav Modi, the main accused in the fraud.
The government on Wednesday opposed the PIL, filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda.
With the recent IBA meeting becoming a stormy affair among member banks following disagreement on who should foot the ₹11,400-crore bill, indications are that the Department of Financial Services may step in to resolve the impasse on this front.
The DFS is considering calling a meeting of PNB and all the other Indian banks (SBI, Allahabad Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank) who had exposure to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi firms, it is learnt.